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The Greatest Aircraft Ever Built Retires Forever
Member Name: kciN
Date: 24/10/03, updated on 29/02/04 (5211 review reads)
Advantages: Speed of Concorde., Looks of Concorde., History of Concorde.
Disadvantages: Concorde Retiring For Ever., High Running Costs. , Stepping Back In Technology.
British Airways set up a competition for 666 lucky winners to get the opportunity to fly on Concorde during its final week. From Monday 20th October 2003 to Friday 24th October. Concorde will land each day at Birmingham, Belfast, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The winners of the National Concorde Competition, VIPs and key British Airways customers will board onto Concorde at each Airport. They will fly for 90 minutes to the Bay of Biscay at speeds of 1,350mph flying at twice the speed of sound.
Concorde is by far the best Aircraft ever built which no modern Aircrafts of today?s standards can match in terms of style and technology. If you have been lucky enough to see Concorde flying over you will not be disappointed as no other Aircraft can match the satisfaction you get from the sight and sound of Concorde. I saw it fly over the Golf Course I work at on Monday 20th October 2003 as it was approaching Birmingham International Airport and knew it would be the last time I would see her fly over because it?s the last week before Concorde stops flying forever.
On the 5th November 1956 the Supersonic Transport Aircraft Committee (STAC) was established in view to build a Supersonic Transport Aircraft that was created with help from British Aircraft and Engine Manufactures. Also helping were Government Officials and Personals from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough who plans would soon become reality.
On November 29th 1962 an agreement was signed between the French and British Governments to develop a prototype Aircraft that would be capable of breaking the sound barrier that would later be known as Concorde. The British Concorde was to be built by British Aerospace PLC. French was to be built by Aerospatiale of the Aircraft Corporation Ltd.
In December 1967 the French Aerospatiale Concorde 001 test version could be viewed for the very first time. Concorde flies for the first time on the 2nd March 1969 the very first prototype Concorde test flight 001 took off from Toulouse that was Piloted by French Pilot Andre Turcat that only lasted 27 minutes before landing at Le Bourget Andre Turcat who was impressed with the short Test flight that only reached an altitude of 10,000ft (3000m) with a speed of only 300mph (480kph). On the 1st October 1969 prototype Concorde 001 took off again from Toulouse but this time it reached the speed of sound for 9 minutes at an altitude of 36,000ft.
The very first British Test Flight 002 was held on 9th April 1969 Piloted by British Pilot Brain Trubshaw that lasted 22 minutes that took off from Filton near Bristol and landed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.
November 1970 wa
s the first time it had flown twice the speed of sound technically known as Mach 2. British Airways orders 5 more Concorde Aircrafts on the 28th June 1972.
On the 1st September 1975 Concorde 204 completes a return trip from London to Gander Newfoundland this was the very first trans-Atlantic journey to be completed in one day. On the 5th December 1975 British Airways Concorde is given certificate of airworthiness by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
On the 21st January 1976 Concorde carries Passengers for the very first time with British Airways flying from London to Bahrain. Air France flew Passengers from Paris to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. A few months later on May 24th 1976 British Airways and Air France launch Concorde service to Washington from London and Paris.
After many protests against noise pollution Concorde starts flying Passengers to New York from London, British Airways and Paris, Air France on November 22nd 1977 that would later on become a daily service.
Concorde over the years has broken many records by becoming the fastest Commercial Plane flying at an altitude of 60.000 feet, or 11 miles this has to be near to the edge of space with only fighter jets matching this altitude. A normal Jumbo Jet would fly at an altitude of 36,000 feet at around 540mph, Concorde flies at 1.350mph and set the fastest time from London to Sydney in just 17 hours and three minutes on February 15th 1985.
On April 14th 1990 Concord set another record Commercial Flight from London to New York in just 2 hours 54 minutes and 30 seconds compared t
o seven hours by Jumbo Jet. In February 1996 British Airways Concorde G-BOAD sets the fastest Atlantic crossing in just 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds.
On the 12th to 13th October 1992, Concorde operated by Air France flew around the World in a time of 32 hours and 49 minutes. British Airways Concorde first round the World trip was on the 8th November 1986 covering 28,238 miles in 29 hours and 59 minutes. It only takes under 3 seconds for Concorde to travel 1 mile at supersonic speed.
On the 30th June 1973 the longest ever solo eclipse for 1000 years was witnessed aboard Concorde 001 by Scientists on a flight from Las Palmas, Canaries to Fort Lamy, Chad flying at altitude of 55,000 feet with the speed on Concorde allowing Scientists to see the solar eclipse non stop for 80 minutes. On the 17th June 1974 Concorde completes its first double transatlantic journey in one day. On the 11 August 1999 when the UK had the solar eclipse 2 British Airways Concorde Aircrafts flew in supersonic formati
on to chase the total eclipse of the sun.
LEAD UP TO CONCORDE RETIRING:
The year 2000 would be the worst year ever for Concorde that began on 23rd July 2000 when a British Airways Concorde was found to have miner cracks along the wings. Two days later disaster struck when Air France Concorde crashed on 25th July 2000 in Paris killing all 100 on board and 4 civilians on the ground. The cause of the fire was later found out to be a burst tyre that hit a strip of titanium that fell off a Continental Airliner DC10. This ruptured the fuel tank igniting the fuel that could have be a
voided if Continental Airways looked after their Aircraft engines better which is were the titanium strip fell off. British Airways continue to fly until 15th August 2000 the day before Concorde certificate of airworthiness is withdrawn until further investigations into what caused the accident.
British Airways modify their fleets of Concorde by adding new tyres, fuel tank liners and additional electrical shielding to regain certificate of airworthiness that they get back on 5th September 2001 after many safety test runs. The interior was undated at the time of airworthiness by the 7th November 2001 both Air France and British Airways restart daily Concorde services to New York. British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the first Passengers when he flew out to Washington DC to meet US President George W Bush. On 1st December 2001 Concorde flight BA273/4 Saturday services to Barbados resumes. Final Barbados flight landed at Heathrow on 30th August 2002.
On 10th April 2003 British Airways and Air France announce that Concorde will retire, the next day Richard Branson offers to buy Concorde for £1.00 each that goes up in value later but his offer not accepted as it would cost too much to keep running. Air France last Concorde to land retires at the Airbus plant in Toulouse where it was originally built on 27th June 2003.
Wing Span: 25.46m (83ft 10in)
Length: 61.66m (202ft 4in)
Height: 11.3m (37ft 1in)
Maximum weight at takeoff: 181,436 kg (400,000 lb)
Fuel capacity: 119,280 litres (25,250 gallons)
litres per hour (5,638 gallons)
Range: 3,740 miles (5,943km)
Capacity: 100 passengers and 1,300 lbs (0.59 tonnes) of cargo
Take-off speed: 250 mph (402 kph)
Cruising speed: Mach 2 (1,350mph) at 18,288 m (60,000ft)
Landing speed: 187 mph (300 kph)
Power plant: Four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 turbofan engines each with a static thrust of 138 kN (31,000 lb)
Landing gear: Eight main wheels (tyres 232 lbs sq in), two nose wheels (tyres 191 lbs/sq in)
Flight crew: Two pilots, one flight engineer
Cabin crew: 6
Average aircraft age: 21.3 years
Average daily use per aircraft: 2.34 hours
Typical London-New York journey time: 3h 30min
British Airways has seven 7 fleets of Concorde.
Air France has 6 fleets of Concorde.
Concorde has a long pointed nose that allows maximum air penetration so it can fly supersonic, the nose obscures the Pilots view that is lowered for takeoff and landing.
Here is the British Airways Concorde Timetable:
London Heathrow to New York daily Services:
BA 001 Depart LHR 10:30, Arrive NYK 09:25.
BA 002 Depart NYK 08:30, Arrive LHR 17:25.
BA 003 Depart LHR 19:30, Arrive NYK 18:25.
BA 004 Depart NYK 13:30, Arrive LHR 22:25.
BA273/2, Weekly flight to Barbados during August and GMT.
British Airways Historical Scheduled Services:
Dallas Fort Worth (via Braniff)
Miami (via Washington)
Singapore (via Bahrain)
Toronto during Summer Months.
Air France 5 Days Scheduled Services:
AF002 Depart CDG 10:30, Arrive NYK 08:25.
AF001 Depart NYK 08:00, Arrive CDG 17:45.
Air France Historical Scheduled Services:
Caracas (via SantaMaria)
Mexico (via Washington)
Rio de Janeiro (via Dakar)
WEBSITES ON CONCORDE:
It going to a very sad moment in Aviation History to see the last British Airways Concorde lands at Heathrow Airport, that will bring an end to greatest Aircraft ever built. The main reason to retire Concorde was the running costs running into millions and not 9/11/01 as some of the media have predicted.
Twenty one Concorde Captains and 19, Co Pilots will loose their pride by not flying Concorde but I sure they will learn to fly the next generation of Aircraft the Airbus 380 the largest Commercial Aircraft ever to be built.
The 7 BA Concorde Aircrafts will go to Air Museums across the World as far as I know, but would like to see 1 Concorde kept running for special occasions but BA says the costs are too high to keep it maintained. Future Generation will not believe that an aircraft flew the Atlantic Ocean in 3 hours and 30 minutes rather then the usual 7 hours, who knows one day they might decide to fly Concorde again.
Friday 24th October 2003 Update:
A STEP BACKWARD&
#83; IN AVIATION TECHNOLOGY :
The BBC coverage of the 3 Concorde Aircrafts landing for the last time at Heathrow was organised very well as usual on this sad but historical occasion. The very last Concorde to land touched down at 16:05 BST Captained by Mike Bannister that was watched by 1000 privileged Spectators, Media and Heathrow Ground Crew as well as the World.
Flight BA002 from JFK Airport departed at 07:35 EST, Celebrities onboard were Model Jodie Kidd, Jeremy Clarkson, Broadcaster Sir David Frost, Actress Joan Collins, Politician Tony Benn, Former US model Christie Brinkley, Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, Stock exchange chairman Chris Gibson-Smith, British Airways chairman Lord Marshall.
I thought the 3 Concorde Aircraft looked like Swans as they touched down and feel we are stepping back in time in Aviation History
Friday 5th December 2003 Update:
CONCORDE MAY RETURN TO OUR SKYS:
Aviation may not be stepping back in time as EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company). EADS is Europe's biggest Aerospace Company and the second largest in the World, employing more than 100,000 people at 70 production sites Worldwide. The Company may seek help from Japan to produce the engines that will be less noisy then the original Concorde that retired in October 2003.
The new Concorde will fly at hypersonic speeds rather th
en supersonic speeds which the retired Concorde?s reached. The hypersonic plane would be able to travel at twice the speed of Concorde, and could fly between Paris and Tokyo in two hours.
The Aircraft would be more economical carrying 300 passengers rather then 100, flying range would be 7,000 miles non-stop, compared to 3.750 miles which the original Concorde could reach.
It does make sense to bring back another type of Concorde that up to today?s modern standards of technology. The hypersonic Concorde may never be made for many more years or not at all, but hope that EADS dream becomes reality.
No one can imagine flying to Japan in 2 hours from Europe and the airfare would be very high in price so would only suit the rich and famous. I hope that EADS get the backup and funds to start designing the Concorde of the 21st Century that?s long overdue with the advance of technology during the last 5 years.
The following link is EADS Website that will tell you about the Company in more detail.
Please note that I have not given an overall rating hence no comments as I cannot afford £8200 for a Concorde return ticket to New York.
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